So far, the variety has lived up to expectations though, performing well in a challenging 2020/21 growing season that featured a wet autumn, followed by cool, very dry conditions during April, then rain in May and June.
His 20 ha (49 acres) of LG Skyscraper kept growing well throughout the changing conditions last season, and went on to average more than 10 t/ha, which was around 1 t/ha above the typical average wheat yield for the 265 ha farm near Thirsk. The crop also produced a nice bold grain sample, with specific weight coming in at 73-74 kg/hl.
“Our soil type is relatively light, so it’s not the best wheat-growing land, therefore we wanted a variety that would perform well, both in more adverse seasons when it turns very dry, and in wetter years,” Mr Bell says. “From what we’ve seen so far, LG Skyscraper seems to fit the bill.”
He acknowledges the spring growth of all varieties was impacted in some way by last April’s drought, with some very short crops through spring, however LG Skyscraper’s longer straw and strong agronomics proved beneficial.
“Because it was so dry, we didn’t need to apply any growth regulators until May, which worked well in the end as crops grew away quickly once rain came during that month. LG Skyscraper did appear to be more resilient and performed better than our other varieties in those conditions,” he says.
This year, Mr Bell, who manages the farm in partnership with his wife, has therefore increased his area of LG Skyscraper to 34 ha (85 acres), all sown as a first wheat after a range of different break crops that include oilseed rape, potatoes and forage maize.
Land typically receives one pass with a Sumo cultivator, before drilling with a Väderstad Rapid. “We generally favour October drilling for our LG Skyscraper, however, drilling dates for the harvest 2022 crop ranged from the 9th to the 23rd of the month, depending on the preceding crop. This year we’re also growing KWS Dawsum and Gleam, which are both September-drilled,” he notes.